Diwali is another reason for Gurgaon’s firefighters to serve the nation
Firefighters at Gurgaon’s Sector 29 station say duty comes before anything, and Diwali is a festival that has turned their colleagues into family.gurgaon Updated: Oct 17, 2017 20:08 IST
Diwali celebrations are incomplete without sweets, prayers, and firefighters, who work round the clock to ensure that everyone can celebrate safely. Each firefighter has his story, and some of them narrated theirs at Gurgaon’s Sector 29. Firefighters here, like in most parts of India, prepare for the unimaginable as they work for double shifts on the day of the festival every year. Here are some of the tales about celebrating the festival while saving lives, and not to forget evading worrisome calls from home.
Earlier, fear crept in whenever the phone rang
“Diwali par hamare liye bahut tanav hota hai (Diwali is a tense period for us),” says fire officer IS Kashyap. “We forget our family at this time, as we anyway never get to celebrate the festival with them. The team sits together, days in advance, to prepare for any circumstances, and also encourage them to continue to follow our motto, which is that we serve to save. In my initial years, fear would creep in every time the phone rang. Main aag ko door se bata sakta hoon, ki kis cheez mein aag hai, aur kitni iski intensity hai (I can sense fire from far, and judge how fierce it is). My family is fearless; they know that I’ll be safe because of my experience of 38 years. Badi-badi ghatnaaon se guzra hoon (I have been through several major accidents). We are hopeful that with the news of cracker ban, people will not burst crackers and there will be fewer incidents of fire.”
If I get hurt, I don’t tell my parents
“Are you not coming home this Diwali?” 24-year-old firefighter from Rohtak, Naveen Nehra’s mother asks him over phone, ahead of the festival. “I told her that I’m on duty and can’t come home. She assured me that I didn’t need to worry, and wanted me to do my duty properly. ‘Koi shikayat ka mauka na mile (There should be no complains)’, she said. Ahead of Diwali, we ensure everything is intact in the fire truck, in case of an emergency. Even if I get hurt, I don’t tell my parents, as they would start worrying. After three years of duty, it feels good to pass on the takeaways from my job to my nephew; on what should be done in case of a fire.”
Ghar pe dhoom dhaam se manaate the Diwali (Used to celebrate with fanfare at home)
“Kash mera beta bhi ghar hota Diwali ke din (Wish my son could be with us, for Diwali),” says firefighter Deepak Kumar from Rewari, recalling how his parents react whenever he spends Diwali away from home. “Our duty is such that we can’t go home on Diwali. They get scared thinking of my whereabouts, hoping I’m fine. Ghar pe badi dhoom-dhaam se manaate the Diwali (We would celebrate Diwali at home with great fervour). The whole family would dress up in new clothes, light diyas (earthen lamps) and perform aarti. Lekin, humein khushi hoti hai ki hum kisi doosre bande ke kaam aayenge, kisi ki jaan bachayenge (What keeps us going is the fact that we save people’s lives). We have to be alert at all times, and yet have a positive frame of mind, so that no accident occurs.”
We are like each other’s family
“Diwali and Holi are festivals when we can’t go home because the chances of fire breakouts are high. Humara parivar yahin hai (Our team is our family). Seniors are like my parents, while fellow firefighters are my brothers. I’m inspired by the Indian Army that serves the nation. Likewise, for us, our priority is to save the lives of people. Naukri karte karte aksar humein badhaiyaan bhi dete hain, ki humne achcha kaam kiya (When rendering our duty, our officers often praise us for the good work),” says 42-year-old Rai Singh from Rewari, an ex-CRPF personnel, who is presently a firefighter, the last 11 years; and has been part of several firefighting operations.
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First Published: Oct 17, 2017 20:07 IST